2021 Everglades Update to Focus on EAA Reservoir

27 Jan 2021

 
 
Please join SCCF and the Everglades Foundation Feb. 24 from 6 to 8 pm for a virtual panel discussion to explore the benefits of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir.
 
The EAA Reservoir was one of the original Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects conditionally authorized by Congress in the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.
 
A vital component of Everglades restoration, it is the only project that will provide the dual benefits of reducing damaging discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries and restoring freshwater flows to the Everglades and Florida Bay. The project will reduce the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the estuaries by more than 55% and almost double freshwater flows south to the central Everglades.  
 
The EAA Reservoir Project has had a long history filled with uncertainty and mired in litigation, politics, and the state’s plan to acquire U.S. Sugar’s lands and assets. It wasn’t until 2018, when the coastal communities of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries were devastated by harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae and red tide, that the State of Florida made the project a top priority.
 
On January 10, 2019, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-12, Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment. Among the Governor’s top priorities for reducing the damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the coastal estuaries was a plan to accelerate construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir. 
 
As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Everglades restoration, the project is finally moving forward. The South Florida Water Management District recently broke ground on the stormwater treatment area for the project and we are finally starting to see progress on construction. Meanwhile, some Florida lawmakers are raising concerns about funding for the EAA Reservoir citing budget shortfalls related to the COVID-19 pandemic to justify halting the project.
 
Join us to learn more about this critical Everglades restoration project and the benefits it will provide to the Everglades and coastal communities and how we can keep this project moving forward. 
 
The program will be moderated by SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera, Ph.D., and the panel will include:
 
  • Steve Davis, Ph.D., Vice President of Communications and Engagement and Senior Ecologist, Everglades Foundation
  • Capt. Daniel Andrews, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Captains for Clean Water
  • Marisa Carrozzo, Everglades and Water Policy Manager, Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • James Evans, Environmental Policy Director, SCCF